But Minucius, who, in consequence of his success and the favour of the populace, was scarcely endurable before, now especially, unrestrained by shame or moderation, boasted not more in having conquered Hannibal than Quintus Fabius.
“That he, who had been sought out in their distress as the only general, and as a match for Hannibal;
that he, an event which no record of history contains, was by the order of the people placed upon an equal footing with himself, — a superior with an inferior officer, a dictator with a master of the horse, —in that very city wherein the masters of the horse are wont to crouch and tremble at the rods and axes of the dictator.
With such splendour had his valour and success shone forth. That he therefore would follow up his own good fortune, though the dictator persisted in his delay and sloth; measures condemned alike by the sentence of gods and men.”
Accordingly, on the first day on which he met Quintus Fabius, he intimated “that the first point to be settled was the manner in which they should employ the command thus equalized.
That he was of opinion that the best plan would be for them to be invested with the supreme authority and command either on alternate days, or, if longer intervals were more agreeable, for any determinate periods;
in order that the person in command might be a match for the enemy, not only in judgment, but in strength, if any opportunity for action should occur.”
Fabius by no means approved of this proposition: he said, “that Fortune would have at her disposal all things which the rashness of his colleague had; that his command had been shared with him, and not taken away;
that he would never, therefore, willingly withdraw from conducting the war, in whatever post he could with prudence and discretion: nor would he divide the command with him with respect to times or days, but that he would divide the army, and that he would preserve, by his own measures, so much as he could, since it was not allowed him to save the whole.”
Thus he carried it, that, as was the custom of consuls, they should divide the legions between them: the first and fourth fell to the lot of Minucius, the second and third to Fabius.
They likewise divided equally between them the [p. 797]
cavalry, the auxiliaries of the allies and of the Latin name. The master of the horse was desirous also that they should have separate camps.